Series: The Falconer #2
Genres: Fantasy, Historical, Romance, Steampunk, Young Adult
Published by Chronicle Books on June 7, 2016
Reading Challenges: 2016 Good Reads Challenge, 2016 NetGalley Reading Challenge, 2016 Reading Bingo Challenge
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The second book in the Falconer trilogy is packed with surprises and suspense.
Aileana Kameron, the Falconer, disappeared through the portal that she was trying to close forever. Now she wakes up in the fae world, trapped and tortured by the evil Lonnrach. With the help of an unexpected ally, Aileana re-enters the human world, only to find everything irrevocably changed. Edinburgh has been destroyed, and the few human survivors are living in an uneasy truce with the fae, while both worlds are in danger of disappearing altogether. Aileana holds the key to saving both worlds, but in order to do so she must awaken her latent Falconer powers. And the price of doing that might be her life.
Rich with imaginative detail, action, fae lore, and romance, The Vanishing Throne is a thrilling sequel to The Falconer.
I was so excited to get an ARC of The Vanishing Throne, because, lets be honest, the cliffhanger at the end of The Falconer is just cruel. The Vanishing Throne picks right back up with a whole new dose of dark cruelty, and it lives in it for a good while. If you like creepy fae, then this is the book for you.
I really enjoyed The Falconer; I didn’t review it because I didn’t really have strong feelings about it one way or another. I think I gave it about 3.5 stars on Good Reads. Well, The Vanishing Throne really steps up in pretty much every department: the story is more driven, the romance is delectable, the fae lore more detailed and exciting and horrifying, and the characters are more fleshed out.
I think perhaps my favorite part of The Vanishing Throne was getting a far deeper understanding and appreciation for Kiaran and his sister Aithinne. We get all of their back story, and while I feel like I should have seen it coming, I didn’t, which created quite the delightful surprise when all was revealed. I also really enjoyed their sibling relationship; Aithinne is delightful (although not without her issues) and Kiaran becomes more and more likable with every page that passes – not that I didn’t like him lots before, but lets just say I quickly grew to adore him in The Vanishing Throne, fae faults and all. They have hilariously clever dialogue that makes them exceedingly enjoyable characters, and I found myself chuckling out loud at some of their conversations.
Our main Falconer girl is back, and Aileana Kameron is every bit the likable, self-sacrificing, doesn’t-know-her-true-strength heroine. She’s not indestructible (that’s what Kiaran and Aithinne are for) but she’s certainly capable of kicking some serious homicidal fae butt. She learns quite a lot in The Vanishing Throne, about herself, about fae history, about Kiaran, about love (ooh la la), about the lengths she is willing to go to save the ones she loves.
There’s oodles of action in this book, with plenty of awesome Falconer action (aided of course by Kiaran), and we get to see Aileana really come into her own. Pretty much everyone is out to get her, and there are very few safe places left in the world. The steampunk elements seem to have gone by the wayside a bit (as much as I like steampunk, I’m not really complaining here); certainly some of the fae are still quite steampunk, but as far as everything else goes, it seems like Elizabeth May toned those elements down in favor of serious plot and character development, which I think was a solid choice. Some books it flows rather naturally with, but I felt it was a little forced in the first book, so I’m glad they faded into the background a little.
If you were rooting for Aileana and Kiaran in book one, you will definitely not be disappointed here. I, the hopeless romantic that I am, ate up their relationship development with relish. Unfortunately, Elizabeth May chose to leave us with another cruel cliffhanger (I knew it was coming), and if I’m honest, it’s probably more painful than the first. I’ll be impatiently counting down the days until the third book comes out.
Just a recommendation: there’s practically no recap of book 1, so if you don’t remember The Falconer, I recommend a quick re-read before starting The Vanishing Throne, or maybe visit Recaptains and check out this helpful summary/play-by-play of book 1!
Content Guide: Recommend for 16+
Romance: Kissing. Sex is had, but not seen (before and after-fade to black during).
Violence: Very violent. Lots of slashing and biting and homicidal fae.